Want to Win Powerball? Maybe Move to West Virginia

9 winners of $1M+ this year, more per capita than any other state

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jun 2, 2014 12:44 PM CDT

(Newser) – West Virginia lottery players are on a roll this year, with nine Powerball tickets worth at least $1 million sold in the state. While five other states have had more people win $1 million or more, West Virginia is No. 1 per capita, averaging one Powerball ticket worth $1 million for every 200,000 of its 1.8 million residents. "It's just a lucky streak that we're on that's amazing," says a West Virginia Lottery rep. "We're just tickled to death to be able to create life-changing money for folks in the state."

Five much more populous states have had more winners, but when taking population into account, West Virginia is No. 1. Vermont, with two Powerball millionaires and 626,630 residents, is second and Louisiana, with seven winners and a population of 4.6 million, is third. Susan Dennis, who hit a $1 million Powerball jackpot in February, regularly buys lottery tickets at home in West Virginia and when traveling outside the state, but those tickets always seem to come up empty. "I think I just better stick with West Virginia," she said. In addition to Powerball, two Mega Millions jackpots worth at least $1 million have been claimed in West Virginia this year. "I don't think it's luck," says Dennis, who still plays. "It's whatever God wants to give us and when he wants to do it."

In a Thursday, May 29, 2014 photo, Hartzell “John” Lancaster of Weirton, W.Va., claims a $1 million Powerball prize from the West Virginia Lottery in Wheeling, W.Va.
In a Thursday, May 29, 2014 photo, Hartzell “John” Lancaster of Weirton, W.Va., claims a $1 million Powerball prize from the West Virginia Lottery in Wheeling, W.Va.   (Uncredited)
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